5 Invaluable Benefits of Restful Nightly Sleep

5 Invaluable Benefits of Restful Nightly Sleep

Too often, sleep is treated as a luxury. However, the reality is sleep is a necessity. Although the Sleep Foundation recommends that adults log 7-9 hours of sleep each night, far too many Americans fall short of that goal.

As a certified DreamSleep® providerDavid Epstein, DDS, knows firsthand how invaluable sleep is and how certain conditions 一 such as sleep apnea 一 can rob you of those benefits. 

Below, our team highlights five reasons restful sleep is so important and what we can do here at The Woodlands Dental Group in The Woodlands, Texas, if your sleep is less than satisfactory. 

1. Good sleep leads to better moods

If you’ve ever put a cranky toddler down for a nap only to be greeted by a happy tot after the nap, you know the mood-affecting powers of sleep. The sleep-mood connection isn’t limited to children though. Studies show that poor sleep quality directly affects mood the next day.

A lack of sleep can also exacerbate certain mental health conditions, including anxiety. Understandably, this can take a toll on your mood, too.

On the other hand, sleeping enough can energize you, give you the mental energy to power through the day, and make it less likely that you’ll be irritated by the small things.

2. Sleep supports your immune system

Not only does sleep support a healthy mood, but it also supports your immune system. When you rest, your immune system releases a certain type of protein called cytokines. If you have an infection, cytokines increase to help fight off invading germs or viruses. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines.

In other words, a chronic lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to contracting illnesses and can make your recovery take longer. 

3. Good sleep equals more productivity

Getting good sleep can make you mentally sharper, more energized, and help you perform well at work or school. While you might be tempted to skip sleep to get more work done, the truth is that setting aside time for sleep can make you more productive and less likely to make careless, fatigue-induced mistakes. 

4. Your sleep quality affects your heart

When you skimp on sleep, your body responds by increasing cortisol, your stress hormone. While occasional stress can be a good thing 一 the stress of a deadline can help you reach goals, for instance 一 too much stress is a bad thing, especially for your heart. Sleep deprivation can lead to chronically high levels of cortisol, which can increase your risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, and strokes.

Sleeping enough, on the other hand, can better equip you to manage stress and reduce your risk for cortisol-related hypertension. 

5. Sleep helps you manage stress

Sleep deprivation 一 and the fatigue and brain fog associated with it 一 can make it hard to manage challenging situations, which can further exacerbate your stress load. That’s because a lack of sleep increases your stress hormone level. 

Getting enough sleep can help you manage stress in two ways. First, getting good sleep can help you be rested and mentally prepared to tackle the challenges of the day. Second, a good night of sleep can reduce cortisol levels, which can help you start the day not already feeling stressed.

Treating sleep apnea for a better night’s rest

You might feel tempted to skip sleep to work late or watch a movie marathon, but it’s important to prioritize sleep for the sake of your health. Unfortunately, there are conditions, such as sleep apnea, that can interfere with your ability to sleep soundly.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in your breathing. These pauses are short, often 10 seconds, but the frequent interruptions can take a toll on your sleep quality and overall health. Sleep apnea symptoms include intense snoring, frequently waking up gasping for air, morning headaches, jaw pain, and sore throat.

The good news is that sleep apnea can be managed with a mandibular repositioning device (MRD). These devices are custom-fit mouthguards that you wear while you sleep. The devices hold your jaw in a specific position to hold your airway open and prevent airway obstructions. Once our team fits you with a custom MRD, we encourage you to return to our office every few months so we can ensure your mouthguard continues to fit well and deliver the sound sleep you deserve.

You don’t have to suffer from poor quality sleep night after night. To learn more about sleep apnea and how a custom MRD can help you sleep well again, call 281-367-3085 to book an appointment with The Woodlands Dental Group today.

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